I had been the primary caregiver for my 78 year old Mother-in-law since about mid-Feb. of this year. She had a few small strokes that went undetected in January and ended up in the ER once we figured it out. After a 2 week stay, most of it on rehab floor, she was released with 24/7 supervision. We got her an emergency pendant and made a schedule of "shifts" to be at her home more for companionship/supervision than any actual "Care." She doesn't have dementia, but does get things mixed up (she always has) so I keep a journal of medical stuff and Dr visits to refer to.
She refuses to let us so much as look at her pill bottles, let alone try to double check her taking them. So I count the pills behind her back and keep track if she is taking them. I'd say she is 95% compliant, but has trouble when one gets changed, and it takes several days to get her reliable with it. If I so much as ask "Have you taken your medicine today?" I get a hateful response and nasty attitude for quite some time. At least I did get her using the daily pill box again finally after the last pill change.
Last weekend I came over and walked in on a firestorm. SIL (her daughter) and MIL were arguing about some lost prescriptions. MIL says I took them. MIL has lost them, as the doctor handed them to her directly and I don't handle her papers for fear of being accused of taking/losing/snooping. We all end up discussing lots of things that have needed to be addressed since we are all there at one time (quite rare!) some forgetfulness and some mixups she has made lately.
Long story short, she gets defensive and it all turns to arguing, yelling and even some flailing of arms-- it becomes apparent that her paranoia has her believing that the SIL & I are conspiring to put her in a home. MIL uses her emergency device to call authorities to ask us to leave because we are "Being mean and hateful, somebody needs to come get them to leave" *sigh*
Now, I could have killed the officer! He talks to MIL who says she lives alone and does just fine, keeping up with her pets, housework, etc. And he replies "looks like you are doing great to me!" Of course, what she heard is "You can live alone forever, you are perfectly ok!" When he steps outside to talk to us, he says, "I think your next step is to get her evaluated, maybe by her doctor? She might not be competent to live on her own" Um, thanks for that!
Now, she doesn't want her daughter or me to set foot in her house, have anything to do with her Dr. appts, Rx, or anything at all. She has asked the across the road neighbor to take her to appts. and the store. If you ask MIL, she will tell you that her neighbor is her new caregiver, if you ask the neighbor, she will tell you that she is driving her to appts. and town, but said "No" to being her caregiver.
The neighbor talked with DH & I for a few minutes and said MIL told her the sister hit her across the face & on her arm during the argument (not true.) She's also told them I & the daughter want to put her in a home, that I steal papers and Rx's , and who knows what else, all untrue, but she believes it.
What she is NOT telling them is that she isn't supposed to drive (she was on the zero turn mower already 2 or 3 times since I was fired) she isn't supposed to go up and down stairs (Neighbor said she is planning to buy a new washer and dryer since hers quit - and they are located in the basement, so this means she is planning on carrying her laundry up and down the stairs) or any of her other restrictions.
And she's told them nothing of her medical stuff - what pills she takes when, what symptoms to watch out for in case of another stroke or medical crisis. She just wants them to take her to town and leave her alone.
We've been to the ER 3 times in the last month, and she was admitted with a UTI one of those times. I'm concerned about her health - with no one going in with her during Dr. appts and providing him with accurate answers to questions. Also of concern is that she can come out of the doctor appt. and say whatever she wants (Gee, he said I don't have to take my blood thinners anymore!) to get her way on things she doesn't want/ or does want to do. This seems dangerous to me, but at the same time, it seems like I'm in a pickle, there nothing I can do but pray.
The sad thing is, I've made it my goal to do everything I can to keep her in her home since the day I started caretaking for her, but in her mind, I'm the enemy and can't be trusted. *sigh*
And I have to say, there's a part of me that's just relieved to be off the caregiving hook. I imagine that she will fall, quit taking one of her meds again, or do something else to cause another ER visit and maybe even a hospital stay, and this time she may not be able to come back home but have to go to a facility for rehab, and then end up there permanently.
Anyone else going through this? How are your handling it? (and sorry this was so long!)